Having been developed over a number of years, the Later Life Adviser Accreditation (LLAA) has now become established as the industry standard of excellence for those advising in the later life market. In addition to being a stand-alone award, it is also the basis of membership of the Society of Later Life Advisers.

Professional qualifications, whilst essential, are unlikely to give the full picture of an adviser’s expertise. Those advisers who take the further steps to become independently accredited come with the added reassurance that they offer the practical help and guidance needed to make the right decisions at the right time.   

Standards

The Later Life Adviser Accreditation is made up of four standards, and all must be achieved to become accredited:

Standard One – Technical Knowledge

In addition to being an FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) regulated adviser, candidates must be signed off as Level 4 competent and hold a current Statement of Professional Standing (SPS), together with appropriate qualifications to demonstrate knowledge in equity release and long term care advice.

Standard Two – Work within a Supportive Environment

The accreditation is an entirely personal award and cannot be achieved by or applied to a firm or practice. However, as part of a candidate’s assessment, they will need to demonstrate that they operate within a supportive environment which includes resources to help maintain their ongoing ‘later life advice’ learning and development to ensure that their LLAA standards are maintained. This includes how the candidate maintains knowledge levels and is supported to undertake personal development within the later life sector.

Standard Three – Maintenance of Competence

In addition to meeting professional and regulatory requirements, the accreditation will look to evidence that candidates have an appropriate amount of Continued Professional Development (CPD) specifically relevant to the older client market.

Standard Four - Application of Knowledge and Soft Skills

An adviser must be able to evidence good working knowledge and understanding of the needs, capacity and financial issues when dealing with their older clients and their families.  It is also important that an adviser has excellent interpersonal and communication skills, such as the ability to explain complex issues in a way that is more easily understood. This is assessed during a one-to-one assessment Viva (interview) with an external approved independent auditor.

 

The LLAA is not an examination. The LLAA evidences eligibility from an online submission that meets the first three standards, through to the Viva assessment and a final accreditation panel decision.